|Brian the dog and a real fire - see pub 705|
It was a leaden grey and drizzly day, perfick Wakefield conditions, but bus 232 soon had me at Middlestown a few miles to the west for 17:36 precisely.
705. Little Bull, Middlestown
This was a very local pub, with three men and a young barmaid all looking nervously at me as I ordered a Scrummy Blonde from the usually disappointing (but not on this occasion) Wentworth brewery. There was more friendliness on display from a Dad who waited patiently with a pint whilst his teenage son finished off some homework on a 'tablet'. The youth of today eh?! The other barmaid with stars on her neck and a cheery smile also seemed more of a people person than the squat Nick Barmby-esque girl who served me. The ceiling was low but the lack of phone signal seemed to not be an issue as there was a blackboard giving the free wi-fi password, but could I get it working? Not a chance! The fact that the first letter was either "G" or "C" and the "J" might have been a "T" meant I soon gave up. The locals at the bar started moaning about politics, radio stations and typical West Yorks barfly topics. A smell of home cooking and a lot of floorboard creaking from above was soon taking over but I'm not sure if it was a ghost making tea or not. In summary, lovely old pub, routine experience, lacked a bit of 'wow' factor.
|About to cross the road to the impressive Little Bull, Middlestown.|
The fact the pub was across the road on a bridge over the River Calder only added to the precarious feel, but the traffic eventually took pity on my soaked state and let me cross ......
705. Bingley Arms, Horbury Bridge
It was one of those "choose which of the two rooms to enter" and despite choosing 'left' this time, my uncanny knack for choosing the room with "nothing going on" prevailed. So this time, I moved on in with the locals! And I'm glad I did as I entered a bustling little bar with good ales and the first roaring fire of the autumn. A crazy old chap started chatting to me but he was a bit edgy and told me everyone else in the pub was a "nob 'ead" so I sidestepped away with my gorgeous pint of Abbeydale Moonshine as another lightning strike crashed down and Keeley Donovan issued a warning from the TV at the end of the room. I dried myself in front of the fire but was swiftly joined by Brian the dog who had the same idea as me. He was attached to "Ossett Lizzie", so called because she worked for Ossett brewery and was called Lizzie. I think. Brian was a great dog and went to sleep on my foot in front of the fire for the duration of my stay, a blatant attempt to win "Pub Pet of the Year", Ossett Lizzie loved BRAPA and we spoke on Ossett pubs at length and acknowledged each other on social media, though the locals at the bar seemed less enthralled! Mr Ossett was a bit quieter but perked up when we spoke to Rat brewery and his great pump clip illustrations/t-shirts. Still, it was great networking and that fire was roasting me alive (thanks a lot Brian!) By the time I left (only JUST in time for the bus to Wakey as it turned out - I was lucky), I said a cheery bye and have to say, it was one of the top positive BRAPA experiences of the year, particularly on a midweek. Wonderful pub.
|Torrential rain as I cross the road to the magnificent Bingley Arms|
Finally back in York, I got a Burger King on the way home but with the rain worse than ever, my chips disappeared through a hole in the soaked bag. Ooops. I saw them on the way to work this morning and considered retrieving them for breakfast (I'm joking).
Coming Soon in BRAPA
Things settle down a bit over the next week, a sedate return to East Yorkshire ticking on Saturday with Dad as I do two of my remaining five. Next Tuesday, we are back in Ilkley for a pub I always knew I should've made pre-emptive. And then Sheffield on the following Saturday which I'll be fine-tuning. I've nearly finished the next lot of archived pubs too.
See you soon, Si